UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

MORE FARM ATTACKS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY SALAM ABRAM, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS

The UDM condemns the two latest farm attacks over the weekend, one in the Free State and the other on the KwaZulu Natal South Coast. We extend our sympathies to the injured victims and their families, and wish them a speedy recovery.

The continuing spate of farm attacks across the country exacerbates the growing hostility and fear in rural areas and among farmers and farm workers. The UDM calls on the authorities to implement immediately strategies to curb these violent crimes. Much discussion on strategies have resulted in little actual implementation on the ground, and government runs the risk of being accused of paying lip-service without making these horrific crimes a top priority.

There is an exodus from rural areas, partly attributable to lack of rural security, impacting negatively on rural community life and stability. Every farmer withdrawing from agriculture creates a ripple effect. Many more people are then compelled to move into towns in search of employment, whilst vital food production is reduced.

Farm and rural safety must be a priority, we cannot allow a situation to develop where the "remoteness", or other factors, of rural areas equate to a reduction in government's constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of its citizens. Government must make a concerted national effort to address this type of criminality, failing which rural areas may become no-go zones for decent law-abiding citizens.

Enquiries:
Salam Abram, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Agriculture and Land Affairs
082 - 375 8834

Cape Town
21 May 2001